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Vox Sentences: Twitter kills Vine, a genuine 21st-century art form

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It's never too early to start suppressing the vote; a subdivision of Belgium nearly sinks a major EU/Canada trade deal; you might not think you'll miss Vine, but you will.


A two-front war on voting rights

Scott Walker Win McNamee/Getty
  • Get ready for a ton of confusion at the polls on Election Day. More than a dozen states have erected new restrictions to casting ballots at the polls — and millions of voters appear to have no idea. [The Washington Post / Sari Horowitz]
  • This approaching crisis is largely the outgrowth of Republican-backed laws requiring voter IDs and limiting polling stations in states from Wisconsin to North Carolina. These laws often make it exceptionally difficult for minorities to vote and have been widely attacked by the NAACP and other civil rights groups. [The New York Times / Michael Wines]
  • Many of these election laws are so egregious that they have in fact already been struck down in court by federal judges. But winning the litigation battle has often proved more of a symbolic victory for advocates, rather than a solution that prevents GOP state officeholders from passing the restrictions they want. [Wisconsin Law Review / Richard Hasen]
  • But this is just one front in the battle for the franchise. The Republican National Committee is now being accused by Democrats in federal court of launching a targeted effort to intimidate voters on Election Day. [Vox / Dara Lind]
  • We have no idea what that intimidation will look like. But a militia-like group called the "Oath Keepers" is already rounding up former and current military members to gather "incognito intelligence" about voter fraud — a call that has alarmed the Southern Poverty Law Center. [Talking Points Memo / Allegra Kirkland]
  • Similarly, longtime Donald Trump aide Roger Stone has formed "Vote Protectors" to oversee polling stations in nine cities with large African-American populations. These "poll watchers" will be untrained and unaccountable. [The Huffington Post / Christina Wilkie]

Wall(onia)ed off

Belgian flag Kutay Tanir/Getty
  • The EU and Canada are on the verge of signing a major trade deal that would abolish 98 percent of the tariffs between the two. [Bloomberg / Jonathan Stearns]
  • But the deal, seven years in the making, almost didn't happen. It was nearly sunk by the objection of the Belgian region of Wallonia. [BBC]
  • Belgium is less a state than a confederation — or to be less polite, a failed state — and Wallonia's its French-speaking part: left-leaning, economically struggling, and deeply skeptical of globalization and trade. [WSJ / Julia-Ambra Verlaine]
  • Ironically, Belgium's other region — the pro-free trade, prosperous, Dutch-speaking Flanders — is partly responsible for Wallonia's near scuttling of the trade deal. Flanders has been pushing for ever more regional autonomy for years to get away from Wallonia in Belgian politics, but that autonomy gave it clout within the EU as well. [Politico.eu / Laurens Cerulus]
  • In many ways — from economic and cultural differences to social segregation and the denial of a common "Belgian" national identity — the Belgian problem is a tamer, gentler version of ethnic tension and Balkanization throughout the world. [The Guardian / Ian Traynor]
  • But the Belgian problem isn't just a Belgian problem. The arguments against the EU/Canada trade deal sound strikingly similar to those leveled by progressives against NAFTA and the TPP... [The Star / Scott Sinclair and Stuart Treu]
  • ...Belgium's failures of national governance have made the country something of a safe haven for radicalism, threatening the region's security...[Politico.eu / Tim King]
  • ...and Wallonia's near veto of the trade deal couldn't have happened without a broader proliferation of veto points within the EU that make it extremely hard for the union to come together on anything — even trade, which was supposed to be the point of the EU to begin with. [The Economist / Charlemagne]

Twitter: no Vines, just creepers

Vine stars Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage via Getty
  • Twitter is killing Vine, the app that allowed people to create and upload six-second looping videos (which often proceeded to take over all or part of the internet — you have almost certainly seen a Vine at some point, even if you don't think you have). [The Verge / Casey Newton]
  • In killing Vine, Twitter is killing a genuine art form, defined by jump cuts and surprise endings. If you are skeptical of that claim, please read this dissection of one of the best Vines of all time, and you will be converted. [NY Mag / Brian Feldman]
  • Specifically, Vine was a place where creative young people of color could flourish and be recognized — at the Guardian, Hannah Georgis memorializes its value for black users in particular. [The Guardian / Hannah Georgis]
  • The fame didn't always come with fortune, of course. Stars of viral Vines often found themselves without anything to show for it, as their intellectual property got expropriated... [Fader / Doreen St. Felix]
  • ...and even the young (often male, often white) "Vine stars" who once made money with product sponsorships found themselves unable to break into, say, movies from six-second clips. [Tech Insider / Caroline Moss]
  • But Vine was also an online space in its own right, creative and joy-filled. Individual Vines might live on, but that won't. [Fusion / Kevin Roose]
  • At a time when Twitter is struggling mightily to keep users of its main service happy and safe from harassment, to the point of having potential buyers walk away because of the toxicity of its brand, it's interesting — and not a little curious — that Vine is what it should choose to kill. [Alexandra Erin via Twitter]

Miscellaneous

  • Another reminder that young people are more progressive largely because young people are less likely to be white. [Fusion / Charles Pulliam-Moore]
  • Law enforcement officials advanced on protesters who'd barricaded themselves in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline Thursday, firing beanbag rounds and tear gas. [CNN / Holly Yan and Marlena Baldacci]
  • It comes full circle: Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings brought the issue of sexual harassment into public view. Now, after Donald Trump has been confronted with a dozen accusers, another woman has come forward to accuse Thomas. [National Law Journal / Marcia Coyle]
  • This pre-election state profile of North Carolina starts in 1901, which is exactly the right place to start. [The Atlantic / Vann R. Newkirk II]
  • When it comes to media beefs, there is unlikely, and then there is TMZ-versus-ProPublica-level unlikely. [ProPublica / Jessica Huseman]

Verbatim

  • "Santa pulls a gun from an ankle holster and begins to pistol-whip the man.” [Washington Post / Alyssa Rosenberg]
  • "In other words, to become a great Palantirian — a title-less, autonomous, creative Übermensch — you have to leave your prior self behind, embrace your role, know your status, and reconfigure your personality to the core dictates of your work." [The Baffler / David V. Johnson]
  • "It’s hard to avoid the impression that the Al Smith Dinner has been, and still is, a public ritual of tribal Catholicism: We’re here; we’ve made it; see, we can deliver the two most important people in the country, a few weeks before the election. That statement of Catholic pride (which not infrequently risks lurching into hubris) may have had its place at a previous moment in U.S. Catholic history. But today it strikes me as moth-eaten, even somewhat sad." [First Things / George Weigel]
  • "Nuclear anxiety, whether during or in between elections, is more likely to promote nuclear build-ups or feelings of helplessness rather than arms-control measures. Positive change happens when awareness of nuclear dangers is linked to a sense of hope that a clear objective can be achieved – an objective that tangibly reduces nuclear dangers. Even then, domestic politics must be aligned with international relations to seize opportunities." [Arms Control Wonk / Michael Krepon]
  • "'Her energy was unbelievable. Thank god I was so much older than her, or I might have tried to keep up with her. She would have killed me.' Nobody ever thought of telling Frey she might be killing herself.'" [Joe Lapointe to Deadspin / Dave McKenna]

Watch this: This isn’t very presidential

All of the stuff on your ballot that isn't about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, explained. [YouTube / Mac Schneider and Carlos Waters]